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Welcome to official web page for the 45th annual Tangier Holly Run. The Holly Run is a Christmas event where pilots from throughout the Mid Atlantic region fly boughs of holly out to the citizens of Tangier Island, Virginia. Purchased from the Native Americans for settlement in 1666, Tangier is one of the earliest settlements in Virginia and is an island community of about 700 people with access to the mainland only by boat and aircraft. Due to sealevel rise, the island has shrunk over the years and most of the holly trees and other evergreens have sucumbed to rising waters.
Fourty-five years ago, a local pilots named Ed Nabb realized a need on the island for evergreens to decorate for Christmas. He loaded up the family Ercoupe with boughs of holly and flew them to the islanders. The tradition grew annually as other pilots joined what became know as the "Holly Run" and was passed along to his son, Ed Nabb Jr., upon Ed Nabb senior's passing.
Beginning in 1975 a progression of Santa Clauses joined the run, the most famous of whom was Jim Schultz. For those of us who knew Jim, Jim was Santa Claus, no doubt about it. Jim spent the year saving his meager income as an Ocean City cab driver to buy gifts for the children on the island. His arrival of Santa Claus was anticipated by young and old alike until his passing shortly after the Holly Run of 2012.
Today, 45 years later (the year that the runway was being repaved the run was skipped), the Holly Run is often composed over 100 attendees with registration being halted at 50 aircraft, the maximum that will fit on Tangier Island. Ed Nabb Jr. still joins us as an honored guest, but Chesapeake Sport Pilot Flight School organizes the run out of their Stevensville, MD facility (W29), offering an enjoyable breakfast with Santa and other pilots during the morning staging.
This year, with a new Santa Claus, Rick Lindstrom of Ellicot City joining us, we will be retooling some of the activities on the island to rekindle some of the earlier traditions of the Holly Run that had been lost in recent years. Upon his arrival, Santa will loaded into a golf cart (the primary means of transportation on the island) to ride around the island and hand out candy canes to the children. The pilots will be offered an opportunity to visit the Methodist church on the island. The Methodist church is the oldest church on the island and one of the most beautiful and historic buildings on the island. Pastor Flood and Mayor Eskridge will then conduct a combined Tangier history lesson and "light" Christmas service featuring Christmas caroling. The service is open to all.
Lunch will again be offered at Loraine's featuring the island's famous seafood and the Tangier History Museum will again be open for pilots to enjoy.
Preregistration for both the run and lunch are required. We ask the you both join our mailing list so you will receive planning and logistics information and register for the run if you will to join us.